ATP Rankings: Novak Djokovic passes Pete Sampras, with Roger Federer in sight

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ATP Rankings: Novak Djokovic passes Pete Sampras, with Roger Federer in sight

Winning 31 out of 32 matches, Novak Djokovic has been the player to beat in 2020. The Serb conquered the fourth ATP singles title of the year on Monday, beating Diego Schwartzman in straight sets in Rome to add 1000 points to his tally and move further away from Rafael Nadal in the battle for the ATP throne.

Novak is spending the 287th week as world no. 1, leaving Pete Sampras on 286 and having no one left between him and Roger Federer, the record-holder with 310, hoping to catch the Swiss by March and grab an ultimate record. Embracing his fifth stint on the ATP throne after winning the eighth Australian Open title in February, Novak couldn't add more weeks to his tally before March and August due to the coronavirus.

The Serb continued where he left when the season restarted, looking good to extend the gap to Rafael Nadal after Roland Garros, losing in the semi-final in Paris a year ago. Djokovic is 1410 points clear of Rafael Nadal who failed to defend the title at Foro Italico, losing in the quarter-final and hoping for a better run in Paris, where he also claimed the trophy in 2019.

If he wins Roland Garros, the two-time finalist and the US Open champion Dominic Thiem will move in front of Nadal, standing 725 points behind the Spaniard ahead of the last Major of the season. Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas will chase 500 points in Hamburg this week, with the Russian competing for the first time since the US Open and the Greek who didn't play well previous two tournaments, trailing more than 700 points behind the Russian.

The US Open finalist Alexander Zverev is still 7th, miles in front of Matteo Berrettini who failed to reduce the deficit more at the home Masters 1000 event.

Novak Djokovic has moved ahead of Pete Sampras with the 287th week at the top.

Gael Monfils and Denis Shapovalov complete the top-10 group, with the young Canadian becoming the 170th player in the top-10 since 1973.

Following the US Open quarter-final, Denis competed in Rome's semi-final, earning enough points to stay in front of Diego Schwartzman and become the second Canadian in the top-10 after Milos Raonic. Shapovalov is only 40 points ahead of Roberto Bautista Agut who is competing in Hamburg this week, alongside Andrey Rublev, Fabio Fognini and Karen Khachanov.

The Argentine Diego Schwartzman could have reached the top-10 instead of Shapovalov had he won the title in Rome, losing in the final to Novak and standing 13th, 155 points away from the elite. The Rome quarter-finalist Grigor Dimitrov is back inside the top-20, with Casper Ruud becoming the first Norwegian in the top-30 following the semi-final campaign at Foro Italico.

A qualifier Dominik Koepfer is the mover of the week, entering the top-70 after the quarter-final at his first Masters 1000 tournament, taking a set away from Djokovic and passing 31 rivals on the list.